The Walk of Life
Life Experience x Young People x West Yorkshire Finding Independence
Making the Journey
Life Experience x West Yorkshire Finding Independence x The Basement Project
Making the Journey is a short documentary-esque film that tracks a six week collaboration between the WY-FI network and Life Experience as the group develop and produce a short performance piece together sharing their lived experiences as people in recovery. The film stops short of performing the final work publicly as due to the coronavirus pandemic the final sessions and showcase event was cancelled. The project was generously made possible by West Yorkshire Finding Independence (WY-FI), The Basement Project, Life Experience and all the exceptional people who took part: Aaron, Adele, Andy, Jade, Matt and Richard.
The content was devised through the open exploration of improvised prompts, re-enactments, playful experiments and gamercises (Boal). The main storyline and structure adapted from a script produced by another member of the wider Basement community. Week on week, the ideas in the script were discussed and complex narratives were shared where everyone contributed to ways these could be explored through gesture, movement and performance.
What resulted was a ten minute performance where the central character rotates through the group as they negotiate various scenes that many people with experiences of addiction and recovery might recognise - tackling inner voices, outside judgement, relapse, negotiating services and reaching for goals with others support. The result is incredibly accomplished and the storyline told with humility, humour, fierce observation, clever interpretations and creative staging.
Most of the group had little to no experience of participating in something like this before and were incredible bold, encouraging and open to each others differing experiences and needs. Although it was devastating not to celebrate all this hard work and share the poignant message of the piece by performing to an audience - in some ways the most important part had happened, folks had a democratic and affirmative space to express their lived experience through creative ways with others.